Jesus Christ is the head of His church. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is called by His name and we follow Him. But how can we follow someone if we don’t know what He wants us to do? Christ doesn’t come on the radio shows in the morning or on the 5 ‘o clock news to remind us that He loves us and that we need to keep His commandments. The blessing of a prophet is to know how to follow Christ in an ever-changing and challenging world.
We know what he taught people and civilizations in the past, thanks to the Bible and the Book of Mormon, but what about in our day? Check out a session or two from October’s General Conference to learn what we have been counseled most recently.
2013 is a LOT different from Biblical times. We have new issues, new questions, new innovations that require continuous revelation from Christ. We get questions all the time on this site about abortion, gay marriage, tithing, pornography, drugs, finances, the end of the world, etc. Thanks to our modern, living prophet, we can know exactly what Christ would tell us all about how to navigate the new stuff.
When He was on Earth, Christ called 12 apostles, ordained them with the power and authority to act in His name. He also called a group of men called a quorum of the Seventy and established other positions of service to help spread the gospel around the world–leadership that would last after He had to leave them.
After He suffered, died and was resurrected for our sake, He left the church in Peter’s hands, but continued to lead the church through His chosen Apostle. In time, however, the people stopped listening to the words of Christ’s disciples and killed them. Without a prophet or apostles, Christ’s instruments for guiding the world were lost.
Because He loves us, our Heavenly Father has again called a prophet to act as His mouthpiece. The first prophet of this era was Joseph Smith Jr. He is responsible for the majority of the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. After his death in 1844, God has continued to call prophets for our benefit and we continue to be blessed by their teachings. His church still operates with 12 apostles, quorums of the seventy, etc. the same way He formed it originally.